A Conversation with Austin Park, Chief Technology Officer, PDS
Cloud Computing architecture incorporates tools to view and manage the physical environment in its totality and quickly respond to change in resource demands through automation tools and pre-set policies.
Q: There is a lot of buzz around Cloud Computing, why is that? And what is the true impact Cloud Computing will have?
That’s a really good question. Too often we get asked the question to define Cloud Computing and inevitably we start describing the characterisitcs of the architecture, rather than its impact or value. I think the real impact cloud computing has on IT, ultimately our entire economy, is its ability to respond to changing needs with very little friction. This enables organizations to focus more on development and less on operations. Traditional IT is more focused on keeping the environment stable. It is intentionally disciplined to mimimize change through a series of change management bureaucracy, which were needed at a time when human error during the configuration changes accounted for more total down-time than all other sources combined.
Cloud Computing architecture incorporates tools to view and manage the physical environment in its totality and quickly respond to change in resource demands through automation tools and pre-set policies. This addresses many of the common human errors injected during the resource provisioning process and gives Cloud Computing the elastic characteristics that it’s known for.
Q: Does that mean that people will be less important in managing the Cloud Computing Environments?
Quite the opposite, people become even more crucial and they need to be highly skilled and competent. The software tools embedded into the Cloud Computing architecture simply magnify their reach and capacity while minimizing errors.
I equate managing a Cloud Computing environment to a large complex spreadsheet with lots of formulas. Imagine having to do lots of arithmetic problems in a sequence using a calculator. The chances that you will make a human error are quite high, and you’d have to do all the work over again, if you changed some of the variables. But if you input all the variables into a spreadhseet and take the time to design all of the formulas, you can instantly impact the entire spreadsheet just by changing the variables; thus eliminating the chance of an arithmetic error.
Of course that also means you can make drastic changes to the environment almost instantly, which is why we build in mechanisms to be able to rollback changes just as quickly.
Q: You seem to be talking a lot about how the Cloud is built and managed. I thought the Cloud was so you don’t have to worry about that?
Yes. The sunny thing about Cloud Computing is it impacts different groups differently. One way to look at the cloud is from the user’s perspective, arguably the most important perspective. For them, the cloud makes it possible to do what they want. It provides a wide range of IT services from applications to entire development platforms; as a service. It responds on demand and gives them a self-service portal to interact with the environment.
Of course, to make that seamless and cost effective while still taking into account security and complience risks, organizations need to plan out how their own systems are going to interact with resources outside the organization. It is no wonder why 80% of companies are projected to consider and build a Hybrid Cloud environment within the next few years.
Q: So what is PDS doing in the Cloud Computing Space?
PDS is a technology consulting company focused on helping organizations make the most of their IT investments; enabling their businesses to innovate and grow. Our job is to help our clients improve performance and enable them to service their customers more efficiently.
We have a consulting practice that helps organizations evaluate Cloud Computing technology and assist in the planning of an enterprise architecture that maximizes its potential to dramatically increase the velocity of their development cycles and reduce operational costs. For those seeking a flexible growth strategy, we help to augment their Private Cloud environment with a fully managed extension using our Cloud resources to create a cost efficient hybrid environment. What I’m most excited about are the industry specific Platform solutions we are bringing to our customers in the healthcare, government/education, and corporate industries.
Chief Technology Officer, Austin Park, joined PDS in 2004 as Vice President of Infrastructure Services. As Vice President of Infrastructure Services he built out new advanced technology solutions and organized the services group to build strong technical depth in our core disciplines. He was later promoted in 2007 to Chief Technology Officer, to oversee all of PDS technology competencies and service operations. Today as CTO and Senior Vice President, he is responsible for architecting a cohesive strategy for PDS. He directly oversees Research and Development, Consulting Services, and Project Execution. He also oversees the development of our cloud offerings, including the Cloud Extension Center. Prior to PDS, he held various management and consulting roles in the IT industry, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at MBT, Inc. from 1999 to 2004. Mr. Park currently sits on the North American Partner Advisory Board for VMware, HP Executive Channel Advisory Panel for HP ESSN, and Cisco North America Channel Advisory Board. He also volunteers his time to act in an advisory capacity to local community technical colleges in curriculum development.
Learn more about Austin Park and PDS by visiting www.PDSIT.net.